Hand Sewing Leather: How to thread your needles

Hand Sewing Leather: How to thread your needles

Hand sewing leather is usually done using one thread with two needles. I use waxed thread or sometimes I add bees-wax to un-waxed thread. Waxing the thread prevents it from unravelling while sewing.

Now you can start hand sewing leather!

11 thoughts on “Hand Sewing Leather: How to thread your needles

  1. Great blog you have here! I’m wondering about the size of the needle to the diameter of the thread. Do you have any advice regarding needle size if you are going to use 0.8mm thread or 1mm thread?

    Thanks! And keep up the amazing work

    1. I haven’t really come up with a way to pick the “right needle”. It depends on the type of material and what end result I’m after and then I usually just grab one that won’t take me too long to thread. With sewing machines it’s actually important to pick the right size needle but I don’t think it makes a huge difference when sewing by hand.

      I’d recommend that you get a variety of them in all kinds of sizes. I think you can get a large selection for a couple of bucks. If you’re pre-punching the hole with an awl, it’s also not important to have a sharp needle.

      Maybe someone who’s an expert on hand sewing needles can add some more information?

  2. Nigel Armitage recommends John James #002 for saddle stitching on Youtube (warning: these are given a different number in the USA – check out Nigel’s 3 videos for USA viewer “Raven”). I’ve recently starting using them, they are quite small and – with my aging eyes – can be difficult to thread, that’s how I came to this page! 🙂

    I also bought one size up & one size down from the #2. The needles that I previously received with thread purchased on ebay are larger – perhaps one or two sizes up from the #2, perhaps more in some cases.

    Smaller needles help when using Nigel’s traditional English saddler style (e.g. using a pricking iron/wheel & saddler awl). If you are using USA-style diamond chisels that punch right through the leather, perhaps less critical. I am still undecided on best size.

  3. I always like to come back to your tutorials, they are easy to understand and very thorough. What I don’t get though…in picture 4 there is an extra amount of thread in the “looped end” of the needle (the right side in the picture) but when you get to picture 7, that excess on the right is gone. Every time I have tried this I end up with an excess loop on one side and the end of the thread on the other.

    If what I am saying makes sense at all…how do you avoid that?

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